OMAHA – Just nine outs from winning five of six against division-leading Omaha and moving within 3.5 games of first on Sunday, the Saints saw it all unravel in a five-run seventh inning for a 9-6 loss to the Storm Chasers at Werner Park.
The Saints were up 6-3 going into the seventh when Angelo Castellano led off with an infield popup that dropped between Jose Miranda at first and Drew Maggi at second. Saints reliever Ian Hamilton followed that with three straight walks to force in a run, making it 6-4. Nick Vincent came out of the bullpen and struck out Bobby Witt Jr., but Nick Pratto unloaded on an 0-2 pitch for a grand slam to put the Storm Chasers up 8-6.
The Storm Chasers jumped out to a lead in the first when Griffin Jax walked leadoff hitter Rudy Martin. He stole second and scored on an RBI double by Pratto to make it 1-0. An RBI single to center by Kyle Isbel made it 2-0.
The Saints got one back in the second when Jimmy Kerrigan hit a ground-rule double over the right-center field wall and scored on Keon Broxton’s RBI single to center.
In the third, Miranda tied the game at two with a solo homer to left, his eighth of the season.
The Saints took the lead in the fifth, putting up three runs. It started with a leadoff walk to Broxton. Drew Stankiewicz ripped a single to left, and Miranda hammered an RBI single to left, putting the Saints up 3-2. Left fielder Rudy Martin had trouble playing it, allowing Stankiewicz to take third and Miranda to go to second. A sacrifice fly from Rob Refsnyder made it 4-2, followed by an RBI single from Tomás Telis. Miranda finished the evening 3-5 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Witt Jr. cut into the lead in the bottom of the inning with a solo homer to left-center, his second, making it 5-3.
Jimmy Kerrigan, however, got the run back for the Saints in the sixth when he crushed a solo shot to center, his 10th, putting the Saints back up at 6-3.